Paying for a college experience for your freshman (and beyond) is about more than deciding on the right loan to use. It’s also about funding the other experiences that make attending college so unique. Day-to-day expenses like internships, travel abroad opportunities, entertainment, and yes – even a late night study session at the local cafe – are part of what going to college is all about. But, as families are working to figure out the ideal situation for student loans or other funding, these day-to-day expenses often get overlooked from a budget standpoint. For this part of college life, there’s other ways to find that extra funding.
Here’s 5 ways your college freshman can pay for day-to-day college expenses:
Good Grade Bonus
Some colleges and states offer programs that reward students for academic achievement (and disincentives for those struggling with academic progress). Most of these are found in the way of tuition rebates, but it depends on the school/state and achievement. Check with your particular college or state to determine if any of these programs are available. Occasionally, private student loan lenders also offer similar incentives.
Many colleges participate in the federal work-study program or offer employment opportunities to their students around campus. Working while studying can be a great way to prepare for adult life – and get some extra cash. These jobs are important and often a wonderful way to meet others on campus, too!
Scholarships for College Students
Some scholarships are only available to students who are already in college. Sponsors want to make sure that applicants are committed to academic achievement or a particular field of study so they reserve their funds for current students. Continue researching scholarship opportunities, even as your student is in college. This can be great “free” money to fill the gps for day-to-day college experiences.
Rewards for Planning Ahead
As you start thinking about whether your student will attend college in the future, look at opportunities to save or earn money for participating in routine activities at home. Upromise operates a free-to-join loyalty program where family members and friends accrue credits on eligible purchases that are directed to a college savings plan or to pay down student loans. SAGE Tuition Rewards is a unique private college savings program where participants earn rewards points for participating in various activities. Any amount saved in advance that lowers out-of-pocket costs puts real money back in your student’s pocket.
Some families get creative when it comes to goals and money for college. Instead of giving money freely or providing an allowance, some families set goals for academics throughout the college experience. When those are reached, the student is given a bonus. This helps the student set goals and still earn money! Students can also consider asking for money for holidays and birthdays to help pad their budget.
Although it might seem that good grades and an improved life outlook should be all the rewards your student needs, financial incentives can go a long way towards helping your student experience more college life. Sometimes getting creative is the best way to ensure your student’s “fun” budget is well-funded and ready for them to pay for day-to-day college expenses with no stress!
Who We Are
CFAA helps with the financial aid process, from completing the FAFSA and completing the CSS Profile to reviewing the SAR, responding to requests for verification, comparing financial aid offers and understanding student loan options. Schedule a 15 Minute Power Chat to learn more about finding ways to pay for college.